Moroccan Sahara

A Much Needed Break in the Moroccan Sahara Desert

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 4 Comments

Following a few days engulfed in the mad frenzy of the Fes Medina, our heads were spinning. With the dizzying maze-like corridors and never-ending flow of bodies in all directions; and the constant beckoning of shopkeepers to visit this shop or that, to “buy this rug” or “authentic gold lamp.” Each dawn we’d be shaken from sleep by a buzzing shriek. Directly outside our bedroom window was the loudspeaker atop the minaret of the local Mosque. The morning call to …

Plate of cabbage rolls with sausage and sour cream.

Sarmale Recipe [Romanian Cabbage Rolls]

Mark Stewart Food, Recipe 2 Comments

Until visiting Romania, I thought I knew cabbage rolls. Growing up in Alberta, a Canadian province with a large Ukrainian population, cabbage rolls were a staple in my diet. And as a result, I had a fairly good grasp on what made a good cabbage roll. Yet this post isn’t about the cabbage rolls we grew up with. No, this is far more exciting. This is a Sarmale recipe. While we were exploring the Maramures region of Romania, we had …

A busy street in Fes Morocco, with the minaret of a Mosque in the background

Navigating the Chaos: What to Do in Fes, Morocco

Mark Stewart Travel Tips Leave a Comment

Visiting Fes is absolutely one of the must-do activities while in Morocco. And yes, it’s spelled Fes, not Fez – the second one is a type of hat. Wandering the narrow, chaotic streets of the Medina is one of the most exciting things to do in Fes, and an experience hard to find anywhere else. The smell of grilling meats, colours of every hue, and the call to prayer echoing through the stone corridors; these are constants. But no sensation …

How Travel Can Make You Live a Longer Life

Mark Stewart Opinions, Travel Stories 10 Comments

Alright. I know this sounds a bit far-fetched, but hear me out. Travelling can make you live a longer life. I’m not talking about this in the literal sense, of course. That is, unless by travelling, in a dance with fate, you avoid some tragic event back home; one that would otherwise show you an untimely death. But that’s not where I’m going here. This is a happy post. It’s All About Perception Travel changes our perception of time; or …

Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich. A bun filled with grilled chicken, cucumber, pickled vegetables and green cilantro.

Recipe: Vietnamese Banh Mi

Mark Stewart Food, Recipe 2 Comments

Bánh mì — literally Vietnamese bread — is the common name for the delicious sandwich that originated in Saigon during the 1950s. Over the years, this melding of French and Southeast Asian cuisine has become wildly popular across the world. I remember the very first time we tried banh mi. It was in Laos, as we were making the two-day boat journey from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. The boat stopped for the night in a small village along the …

Fortress wall surrounding a city outside Tangier, Morocco

Things to Do in Tangier, the Gateway to Morocco

Mark Stewart Travel Tips 2 Comments

At the mouth of the Mediterranean, across the straight of Gibraltar from Spain, is Tangier. The ancient port city is the gateway to Africa for many Europeans, and has been a valued strategic location for centuries. Booming with recent business ventures and investments, Tangier is shedding its once seedy image. And while many travellers simply pass through or skip this coastal gem altogether, Tangier is entirely worth a visit. From its buzzing media and ancient Kasbah to some of Moroccos …

Large rocky gorge with a stream flowing from it through a green field in Romania.

Hiking Turda Gorge in Romania

Mark Stewart Travel Stories, Travel Tips 2 Comments

Romania is a country of incredible landscapes. And Turda Gorge is certainly one of the most striking of all — though it seems relatively unknown to many travellers. It wasn’t until I was doing some photo location research that we learned of the place. Blown away by the Tolkien-esque scene, we had to check it out. Hiking Turda Gorge became a priority; and as it turns out, it’s far more than just a pretty picture. Turda Gorge Cheile Turzii, as …

Colourful houses line a cobblestone street in Sighisoara Romania

14 Incredible Day Trips from Brasov, Romania

Mark Stewart Travel Planning, Travel Tips 6 Comments

Brasov is a great place to base yourself when travelling through Romania. Although many use Bucharest, it then takes quite a bit of additional time to reach many sights that are 15mins to 2 hours away from Brasov. Brasov day trips are the simplest way to explore the best of Transylvania. With the convenient trains and buses running from two different stations, you will be well-connected to one of the most amazing regions in Romania.  We would suggest to pair …

An old castle on top of a rocky mountain.

More than Just a Castle: Things to do in Bran, Romania

Mark Stewart Travel Tips 4 Comments

In the heart of Transylvania, nuzzled in the foothills of the Bucegi mountains, is Bran. Less than an hour by bus from Brasov, this picturesque village is one of the most popular destinations in Romania. However, it’s not the hillside houses or the gorgeous green valley that draw in the crowds. That can be found across this wonderful country. It’s the spectacular Bran Castle that has visitors arriving by the busload. But before you plan a mere day trip to …

Blue train car sits beside the Bucharest train platform.

Taking the Bucharest to Chisinau Train by Night

Mark Stewart Travel Stories, Travel Tips 6 Comments

Nearing the end of our incredible two months in Romania, the time had arrived to move on. This time to neighbouring Moldova, a wonderful, though tiny, former Soviet nation. Seeing as our final days were spent in the bustling hub of Bucharest, we had several transport options to choose from. Though for the sake of adventure, and love for the rails, we opted for the Prietenia: the vintage Soviet sleeper train from Bucharest to Chisinau. Click here to jump straight …